2 Fast 2 Furious focuses on ex-police officer Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker), who relocates from Los Angeles to Miami to start over. Becoming involved in the street-racing scene in his new city, Brian befriends car-savvy Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) and Suki (Devon Aoki), but his competitive streak ends when federal agents apprehend him and he must enter into a deal with the FBI. Working with new partner Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Brian begins a dangerous mission to take down a powerful drug dealer.
It became clear as soon as 2 Fast 2 Furious started that we were just going to get more of the same, and sadly, my suspicions were right. The car races this time around are actually a little more fun than they were in the predecessor, but this film is ultimately quite boring as it tends to focus way too much on a storyline that simply isn’t interesting.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – people want to watch a Fast and Furious movie to see fast cars, muscled-up dudes, and chaos. We get the first two ingredients here, but they’re not flavorful enough. There are certainly some fun racing sequences as you would hope to see, but this strangely feels like a gang/crime movie rather than an exciting car movie.
It takes all the worst elements from crime shows and dumps them here and it just feels so out of place. I wouldn’t have minded so much if these elements were actually interesting and were handled well, but they weren’t. Every time there was some mystery or gang scene, I was just counting down the seconds until I’d be able to watch an enjoyable scene again.
I was also really hoping that this sequel would flesh out Brian O’Connor a little bit more, and it doesn’t do that either. We don’t learn too much about him this time around, although this sequel was the perfect opportunity to explore his character. Walker is still excellent in this role, though. He feels tailor-made to be the star of this franchise. His charisma is off-the-charts and he is quite literally the definition of a subtle badass.
Also amazing here is Tyrese Gibson as Roman Pearce. Not only is he absolutely hilarious in the role, but it really feels like he had a blast shooting this film. He gives it his all and then some and it shines through in every scene.
And I thought I was going to miss Vin Diesel‘s presence as Dominic Toretto but I didn’t. Maybe once I see more of him in the other films I’ll grow to really enjoy his character, but so far in my marathon of the franchise, Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor is easily my favorite. Although I must admit that I’m quite excited to see Dwayne Johnson‘s character.
Unfortunately though, at the end of the day, 2 Fast 2 Furious let me down quite a lot. Not only is the title absolutely ridiculous, but as a sequel, it really doesn’t do anything a good sequel should do. 2 Fast 2 Furious is the film manifestation of a video game DLC. It doesn’t really do anything to propel what we loved about the first and just feels like a boring slog.
Overall Grade: C-
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for street racing, violence, language, and some sensuality
Directed by: John Singleton
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: June 6, 2003
Running Time: 108 minutes